Now that summer is coming to an end and cooler weather is beginning, the promise of snow is still somewhat far away. Avid ski enthusiasts know that in order to find the best resorts this time of year, you’ll need to do a bit of traveling. With September comes colder temperatures, but snow in only certain locations. That being said, the following are some of the best destinations to travel to for the most enjoyable skiing experiences in the early months of winter.

Mammoth Lakes, California

With an elevation of 7,880 feet, this town on Mono County, California is a skier’s paradise. One wouldn’t think of California as having ideal ski resorts, but Mammoth Lakes’ elevation allows it to set snowfall records year after year. The resort of Mammoth Mountain specifically houses a 22-foot halfpipe, ski and snowboard lessons for children, and courses ranging from beginner-level to expert.

Tignes, France

Many winter adventurists are well aware of the French Alps and the features it has to offer, and the French commune Tignes is no exception. The ski resorts here are open very early in the season, thanks to its high elevation and mountainous geography. The Grande Motte specifically offers plentiful ski slopes with a breathtaking backdrop to match. With over 12 miles of runs spanning the glacier located in Tignes, it’s easy to find a slopes of varying difficulty as well.


It’s hard to list just one city in terms of the best skiing destinations in Chile. South America may not be the first location to come to mind when searching for optimal skiing trips, but all up and down the coast of Chile you can find mountains and resorts flush with snow.

Located 10,000 feet above sea level, the ski resort of Valle Nevado has some of the best on-hill lodging in the world. For more experienced skiers willing to spend a little more, the resort offers heli skiing as well, in which individuals jump out of helicopter to descend down their desired slope. Portillo is another great Chilean resort located in the Andes, which is also all-inclusive.

Zermatt, Switzerland

An internationally renowned ski town, Zermatt is located in Valais; a German-speaking town nestled in the Swiss Alps. Its high altitude allows for skiing year round, so if you can’t dedicate September to making the trek out to Europe, the later months of winter still offer plenty of snow. Skiing here can be done in four different areas, some of which stretching into Italy; another winter destination with stunning scenery.